By the year 2039, it is estimated that the Hispanic population in the United States will reach 80 million and 160 million by the year 2064. These numbers are the result of studies that propose that while the Caucasian population doubles every 75 years, the Hispanic population does so every 25 years. If that is the case, we can expect that by the end of the 21st century, The U.S. Hispanic population could reach a staggering 320 million.
This revealing statistics are a call for all Hispanics, present and future generations, to become aware of the challenge that this implies and to prepare to meet the needs- medical, educational, social and spiritual. We especially need to mention Hispanic ministry and the Catholic Church. How do we spiritually serve the Hispanic population today? This involves hard work due to the small number of priests, vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and trained laity needed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matt. 9:36-38, 10-8).
Blessed by this invitation that the Lord presents us, we must joyfully prepare ourselves to faithfully fulfill our calling and ask the Lord of the harvest to send more workers. This invitation is a touching one for us today, and the Lord calls us by name as he called his apostles to follow him with love and faith to continue preaching his word. Jesus Christ asked St. Francis of Assisi in San Damiano to repair his church. Today the Lord calls us to serve and continue to prepare according to our vocation.
To answer the Lord’s call, implies sacrifice and total commitment. Without hesitation, St. Francis first began by asking for stones in the name of the Lord in the Hermitage of Assisi, to repair the hermit. He did this for two years. Then, he imitated and passionately served the Lord. The rich young man, who refused to follow the Lord (Mk. 10, 21-22) in my opinion, is the same young man who followed Jesus Christ and ran naked once he was arrested (Mk. 14, 51-52). These two Gospel’s passages from Mark, explain our human reaction to God’s invitation.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” is often repeated in our lives and today in a very special way for Hispanics who attempt to achieve the American dream. The true American dream is to prepare ourselves with responsibility to serve our brothers and sisters for the present and many generations to come and to so that we may all arrive together to the Kingdom of God.
2014 © Dr. Gabriel Martinez. All Rights Reserved.
Featured image by c@rlos G@rijo, bricks by por Timm Suess.